Welcome to FrockTalk, the web’s only costume-based movie review site. The goal of Frocktalk is to shed light on the magnificent artistry of costume design in motion pictures. Reviews on this site are written by working costume designers in the entertainment industry – people who know, better than anyone, what it takes to make it all happen. The focus of FrockTalk is not to comment on the big flashy costume dramas, but to call attention to the seemingly ordinary costume design work in film that silently and persuasively moves the audience toward understanding the characters. Costume design for motion pictures is an art form that deserves more recognition than it usually gets. Fancy, pretty costumes do not always equal effective, appropriate costumes. The art of the costume is in letting the audience know who the character is, before the actor even has a chance to open his mouth. Read on, and enjoy. ** CAUTION: ALL REVIEWS CONTAIN SPOILERS! **

Tag Archive for 'dresses'

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Tales from London: the Best Costume Exhibit of ALL TIME!

I’m finally back at home and settled in after a fabulous and unforgettable visit to Europe. I am so grateful to have been able to make this trip. I feel so lucky to have been able to be a part of the Hollywood Costume celebration at the Victoria and Albert museum; I don’t even know where to begin. London, V & A, Deborah Landis, David C. Copley – a million thank yous would never be enough. This exhibit at the V & A marks a new chapter in costume design. We are officially on the map, if you ever missed us before.

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Off to See the Wizard!!

Frocktalkers, it’s an exciting day! My bags are packed and I’m out the door, headed to London for the big opening of the V & A exhibit. I will be posting updates and pictures on Twitter, so please take a look @Frocktalk – it’s going to be crazy! I can’t wait to share the experience with you. If you have any specific requests for photos, just send me an email at frocktalk@gmail.com or send me a DM on Twitter and I will do my best to get them for you! I will also be visiting the Cecil Beaton exhibit and Angel’s costume house!  So excited!!!  Stay tuned for more details, and please check @Frocktalk on Twitter for updates – I won’t be able to post here on Frocktalk until I return!  Have a good week, everyone!

– KMB

Susannah Buxton Talks “Downton Abbey”, and In Other News, My Head Explodes!

I don’t need to remind you how much I love this show, and how eagerly we are ALL anticipating the next round of Downton Abbey here in the US.  Here is a brilliant article to get you salivating.  Susannah Buxton spoke at the V & A about her work – and MAN, it’s excellent! Thanks to DTSFT for the writeup!!

– KMB

Interview: Mark Bridges – The Master

I am a very lucky girl to be able to bring you interviews like this one.  I sat down for breakfast with costume designer Mark Bridges yesterday, and have transcribed our conversation for you.  Please grab a cup of coffee and join us, won’t you?  Mark tells me all about The Master, his methodology, and merkins.  Yes, merkins.  I enjoyed this so much, I hope to bring you other breakfast-style interviews in the future.  Big thanks to Mark for joining me for some toad-in-the-hole and coffee – it was lovely, and very entertaining!  Please note that there are spoilers in this interview, so if you want to be surprised by the film, read this after you see it!  But if you can’t wait… read on~

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Behind the Scenes: COPPER

Eagle-eyed Frocktalker Laura sent me this link.  It’s really cool!  New series COPPER (airs Sunday, August 19th at 10PM on BBC America) has some amazing costumes – 1860s New York City – and you can learn more about them HERE!  I can’t wait to watch the show, and congrats to costume designer Delphine White for the great work!

– KMB

Adventures in Costuming: Albright Fashion Library!

These Prada shoes.  These shoes.  Come on.

These Prada shoes. These shoes. Come on.

Frocktalkers, I have just returned from New York City, and WOW, do I have a find for you!!! It’s the Albright Fashion Library, and before you start thinking of a musty space filled with old books and magazines, let me tell you: it’s pure fashion. Not a book to be found. This is a place that lends clothing, and not just any clothing – top-of-the-line, first-run designer fashion – and tons of it.

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The Answer to Our Prayers?

I have been waiting for this day for a long time. An actor steps into a scanner, and the computer not only records their accurate measurements, but can also recommend clothing styles, brands and sizes that will fit the actor… and ALSO (and this is still just a dream) the computer will be able to draft patterns based on the actors shape and measurements.  What a dream!!!  Part of this is already coming true, thanks to scanning technology available at selected malls.  Right now, the application is mostly for finding the right jeans… but Frocktalkers, hear me now – in 25 years, we will be scanning actors and using these findings to do our work on a daily basis.  It is so exciting.  Read more HERE – and see if you can get in to one of these scanning machines for yourself (right now, you can – at Westfield Culver City, aka the Fox Hills Mall, and at Westfield Topanga, aka the Topanga Plaza Mall).  Enjoy!!!

– KMB

Western Costume Co – 100 years, and in the News!

Western Costume Company is celebrating 100 years of service to the entertainment community, and the LA Times is all over it!!  There are several articles covering various aspects of Western Costume’s history – HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.  They’ve also resurrected an article from 1989 about the sale and move of Western from Melrose Ave. (the old location, close to the Paramount lot) to its current location in North Hollywood!  It’s a pretty spectacular set of articles, and big thanks to LA Times for recognizing the contribution that Western has made to our industry, and for sharing it with the world!  Check it out, Frocktalkers, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Western!!

– KMB

Snow White and the Huntsman

Review Date: 5-29-12

Release Date: 6-1-12

Runtime: 127 minutes

Period: Vaguely Medieval

Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood

Some stories are so good that they just need to be reinterpreted every once in a while. It is therefore no surprise that Snow White has had countless incarnations over the years. The flavor of the latest go-round, Snow White and the Huntsman, is distinctly dark and scary – miles away from the sweet, frothy cartoons and singing birds that have come before. This film is fertile ground for social commentary, and if you are a university-level Women’s Studies major needing material for a thesis, look no further. This is a post-feminist, apocalyptic Snow White, complete with a villain oozing misandry. Sound intriguing?

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Get Me COSTUMES! Don’t make me pull this car over!!!

Oh, Frocktalkers.  There is an article in the Wall Street Journal about costume design, and (while it is a lovely article) we are once again called “wardrobe” and “wardrobe supervisors” as opposed to the correct “costume department” and “costume designers”.    Here is the article, and after the jump, my letter to the article’s author!

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